WINNIPEG — As the rising Delta variant takes hold on the cusp of a fourth wave of COVID-19 in Manitoba, the province is making masks mandatory again in all indoor public places, including schools.
The province is also requiring all provincial employees who work with vulnerable populations to be fully immunized for COVID-19 by October 31, or undergo regular testing three times per week.
“By requiring people working with vulnerable populations to get immunized, wear masks and expand the use of vaccine passports, we can protect those most at risk of COVID-19 and avoid lockdown measures that affect everybody,” said Dr. Brent Roussin, chief provincial public health officer.
“This is now a pandemic of the unvaccinated and we have to make sure that this does not lead to health effects on others and our health-care system.”
There is no specific date on when the mask mandate will come into effect, but Dr. Roussin says more information on new public health orders will be released later this week. The province previously lifted the indoor mask mandate on August 7.
Designated workers required to be fully vaccinated include direct health-care providers, teachers and education support staff, school bus drivers and custodians, child-care workers, public servants and funded-agency employees who work in high-risk settings with direct, ongoing contact with the public or clients, and Manitoba Justice employees who work with vulnerable people and in correctional facilities.
More perks for double-vaccinated population
The province will expand the list of facilities, events and services that will require people attending to be fully immunized. A full list of amenities and services that will be available to the fully vaccinated population will be released in the coming days.
“Manitoba led the country in creating a secure Manitoba ‘vax card’ with your COVID-19 immunization information,” said Premier Brian Pallister. “That gives every immunized Manitoban the ability to travel safely and will now be your passport to doing even more safely against COVID-19.”